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animated-check-listToday, January 17, is Ditch New Years Resolutions Day according to the Holiday Insights website No one knows where this holiday originated, but since most of us who made resolutions have broken at least one of them by now, this holiday works for me.

Me, I don’t make New Year resolutions anymore. I always break them, so I figure why bother. When they fail, so do I, and I don’t see the sense in making myself feel guilty like that. It’s self-defeating. I’ve set goals in the past, and been fairly successful at keeping them when I’ve made them something I believe I could achieve. There’s something about missing a goal that has a softer feeling than breaking a resolution.

Recently, I’ve decided that instead of New Year resolutions I should try to buy new things in the New Year. Now, before you go nicknaming me “Material Girl,” remember the list I’m going to share has a purpose—to improve my life, or the lives of others. Just making me, or the recipients of my purchases, look pretty, or fulfilling needless wants, doesn’t count. Purchases have to contribute to a healthier lifestyle or fulfill a life-sustaining need. Clothes don’t count, even though its best if you don’t run around naked. Those are the only rules of my New Year shopping list.

Here are a few things I have on my New Years’ shopping list

  • I started the New Year off by buying myself a fancy schmancy back stretcher that will help me self-adjust my back. Advocates of chiropractic manipulation believe a correctly aligned spine is the key to natural health. This device will hopefully, save me trips to the chiropractor who has decided to drop his insurance contracts. So, I have to pay for each trip out of my pocket. My hubby has tried out the contraption and said it worked for him. Now, if I can figure out how to get down on the floor, stretch out my back, and get back up without messing up any benefits from said stretcher, I’m good to go. That or I wait until hubby builds me some sort of bench that doesn’t require getting on the floor.
  • A new toothbrush, or two, or six. We always get a new toothbrush at the six months’ check-up, and that reminds us to change brushes. My husband doesn’t like the brand our doctor gives us, so I’ll actually start whittling down the drawer of toothbrushes the dentist gives us each year. Research shows we need to change our toothbrushes every three months. More often if you’re ill. Changing brushes helps prevent re-infecting yourself. Your mouth is the window to your body, so keep it clean and germ free.
  • A new book in a different genre than I usually read. Reading broadens your mind. But if you only read in one category, after a while it can become “the same old, same old.” You begin to recognize the troupes, know what comes next, and can figure out the plot. So pick up a mystery if you only read romance. Read a thriller if you read cozies. Try sci-fi or fantasy if all you read is non-fiction. Mix it up. And don’t forget to read non-fiction. Splurge and buy the hardback, or one of the more expensive eBooks if you’ve given up killing trees for paper.
  • A new pair of gym shoes. I’m not going to take up running, but everyday life requires walking and the padding in shoes doesn’t last forever, in spite of what we’d like to think. The pair I wear in the house, to keep the carpets clean, is about 12 years old. So it’s times to replace them. My aching feet will agree the next time I do a marathon cleaning session. While I’m at it, I’ll pitch the old pairs that are older than 12 years and haven’t been worn in as long.
  • A trip to the spa. A massage is good for the body and the soul. If manly pro football players can indulge in massages and hot tubs after a day of pounding on the grid, then I should treat my aging muscles and creaky joints, to a little TLC as well. If you’re joints don’t hurt, take a spa day anyway. The therapeutic benefit of massage is a proven fact. So don’t feel guilty. Just relax and enjoy.
  • Fruit instead of that bag of chocolate candy. Yes, I know. I can hear the groaning across the country. We love our chocolate. Heck, I love my chocolate. But then so do all the fat cells in my body. I tried a pomegranate last year. It was different and tasty in a weird way.
  • A new health food that really tastes good. A couple of years ago, in my search for low-carb pasta, I tried a Japanese concoction stored in some sort of liquid. Bleech!. Last year I tried pasta made from lentils. It was okay, but didn’t hold up well for cold pasta salads. This year my go-to pasta is made from soybeans—Explore Cuisine organic soybean spaghetti. Twenty-two carbs per 2 ounces and 11 fibers. That’s 11 net carbs in a serving. And believe me, it passes for real spaghetti. My hubby even loves it! A bowl of my high fiber cereal with 13 fibers, a serving of spaghetti, a bowl of beans and I’ve hit the recommended 30 grams of fiber mark with ease. Good food that’s good for you.

That’s my seven suggestions for new things you can buy for the New Year that will improve your life. Do you have any additional ideas? Remember, the purchases have to contribute to a healthier lifestyle or fulfill a life-sustaining need.